By David Walters
Being a pedo-handed ADHD-diagnosed individual, what can one do but go into comedy.
And what is comedy anyway? Comedy is laughing in the face of tragedy, right? And that can only happen when time steps in to create a space between the tragedy and the laughter.
Ed Byrne‘s new solo show, Tragedy Plus Time, is a touching and funny, really funny, exploration of how tragedy coupled with time can make us laugh and lighten our load.
Fresh from a sold-out, five-star, Edinburgh Fringe 2023 run, it’s a touching reminder of his brother Paul who passed away due to (“self-induced”) liver failure. It’s a show about sibling rivalry, coming to terms with loss, and the process of getting to a place to be able to laugh in the face of heartache.
He begins by asking the audience if they want to hear the darkest joke that ever came out of his mouth, and of course with a resounding yes coming from the seats, he explains it’s going to take a bit to get there and proceeds to lead us down a twisted path of experiences and observations setting the groundwork that led to his darkest joke ever.
He doesn’t need another five-star review from me, having garnered more stars than any other comic at last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Festival (‘Best Reviewed Stand Up Show at Edinburgh 2023’). What he does need is a broader New York audience to share his laughter in the face of grief with. And so I wholeheartedly urge you to go spend a little time with Ed Byrne as he explains why it’s only funny after a little time has passed under the bridge.
I promise you, if you need a good laugh at someone else’s expense, if you need to be reminded of our shared humanity in living and dying, if you want to find out the truth of the “Irish Goodbyes,” if you want to walk out of The Soho Playhouse with your tread a little less heavy on this earth, then I urge you, double-urge you, to go and spend a little time with Ed. It will be time very well spent.
“You might be right and you might be wrong, but when they’re gone they’re gone.”
The Fringe Encore Series is running at Soho Playhouse through November 19 showcasing the very best international comedians. See the schedule here.
2023 EDINBURGH FRINGE HIT SOLO SHOW, TRAGEDY PLUS TIME running Off-Broadway at The Soho Playhouse November 4 – 12, 2023
Soho Playhouse is located at 15 Vandam Street between 6th Avenue and Varick Street in New York City. Performances every night at 7pm. No show on November 7. November 12 performance at 5pm. Run time is 70 minutes. Tickets are $40. For info and to purchase tickets go to https://www.sohoplayhouse.com/upcoming-events/ed-byrne-tragedy-plus-time.
As always, this is just one person’s opinion in a world filled with them.